Friday, August 29, 2014

Baby step plan 2 for a healthy life

As most of you know I am working on a baby step plan to live a healthier life. This is a very long term goal of mine and it involves breaking down my bigger goals into teeny tiny baby steps.

I have shared my baby step plan number 1 HERE to give you an example of just how small and simple my goals have been. As they have been realistic and achievable for me right now, I have found that I have been able to reach them and achieve success.

Baby step plan number 2 involved me pushing myself physically a little more.
Below is an example of what it looked like:

I set very small goals to get my body moving and running because right now that is what I feel is going to help me the most. Even thought I personally hate running!

The funniest moment was when I was trying to reach the goal of running 300m. I was using my phone with a running tracker as my guide on the distance I was running. When I hit the 200m mark my phone internet connection kind of died out and it was not updating me on how far I was running. With tears in my eyes from pain I kept running and was delighted when it came back online to see that I had made it to 500m. Woo hoo!

To make it to the 1Km goal I put a song that I love on repeat, used all of the negative vibes I had been feeling during the week into my legs and made it happen. I was so excited when I finally made it to 1Km. Not a big running goal for some people but for me right now it is huge!

Of course now I get to write out my baby step plan number 3 and I look forward to sharing it with you very soon. Small progress is good progress. Right?

Monday, August 25, 2014

20 Years of Spiritual Enlightenment

This week it will be my 20 year anniversary of the moment I found God in my life and also 20 years of knowing I can receive spiritual enlightenment to help guide and direct me.

Oh! How I have needed that in my life!

As I am also 40 years old it means I have now lived half of my life without God and half of my life with God. There is a big difference between each of those 20 years!

I have shared previously here on my blog about my personal experience of finding faith.
You can read about how I grew up with no religion and then decided to join a church HERE.
I have also shared a little about being a 'Mormon' HERE.

It has been 20 years since I had two young men wearing black name tags knock on my door and ask me if I was interested in learning about Jesus Christ. Oh! How grateful and thankful I am to them that they put up with the rejection, criticism and anger of many other people to finally find me...who was lost and needed spiritual direction.

Since making the decision to be baptised into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints my life has taken a very different course than it would have had I chosen not to commit my heart to God.

Because of that one decision I have found hope and healing in my life, I know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, I know that Jesus Christ is my Saviour, I strive to live a more Christlike life in my every day activities, I was able to serve a full-time mission for my church and met so many wonderful people from different religions and backgrounds, I met my husband who is the love of my life, I have wonderful sons and daughters, I know more about who I am, where I am going in life and what my purpose is here on Earth.

I now look at my life differently and can see how and when God has blessed me. I also now know how to pray and what a change that has made to who I am and how I parent my children.

I know that no matter what I am struggling with that God is there for me and will help me.
That help may not come in my timing but it does come when I need it the most.

I have so much more to learn about God, Jesus Christ and about myself. I am thankful I have this gospel knowledge in my life and look forward to many more years of spiritual enlightenment.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The wholemeal bread stand off

Trying to make changes in my home takes courage, determination and the knowledge that you are in for a battle. Bascially, it is a battle between me and 8 other people of who can hold off the longest.

When it comes to making healthy food changes it is one of the hardest battles.
I thought I would share with you an example of one such battle.

Recently, I decided to change our bread...once again...I don’t know how many times I have tried to do this but we are again dealing with the wholemeal bread standoff.

I decided that we are changing to wholemeal/mulitgrain bread as I really believe it is better for you and much more filling than white bread.

So I went shopping and purchased the wholemeal bread and put it in the cupboard.

I pick the kids up from school, they put their lunch boxes on the bench and it starts.

A child looks in the cupboard and pulls out a loaf of wholemeal bread.

They turn and look at me with a frown and ask...
’Mum. What is this wholemeal bread doing in the cupboard?’

I say nothing and wait.
Then it all explodes.

‘What! Wholemeal bread. I am not eating that!”
“Where is the white bread?”
“I am hungry and I am not eating wholemeal bread!”
“Why did you buy it Mum?"

I still haven’t said anything.

Then a child announces,

“I am never eating a sandwhich again!” and storms out of the kitchen.

I have to leave the room to stop myself from laughing!
I mean is wholemeal bread not the end of the world!

Then the stand off begins...

We make wholemeal bread sandwhiches for lunch boxes the next morning.
At the end of the day I count 7 wholemeal sandwhiches still in lunch boxes.

Nobody has eaten them.
They are determined these kids!

Day 2 - the same thing happens.

I am torn between giving them all a serious talking to about the crazy way they are behaving and the importance of eating healthy to making them watch a youtube clip of starving children in other parts of the world to remind them of how lucky we are to even have bread!

The stand off continues.

After about a week of many loaves of wholemeal being wasted (which just kills me!) a change starts to occur.

I see a child have wholemeal toast for breakfast.
I see a child accept a multigrain sandwhich for lunch and I hear no outburst or complaints.

It is at this time that I add a little more pressure and remove sugar loaded cereal from our home.

The choices now for breakfast become: toast, oats, yoghurt or eggs.

Suddenly that wholemeal bread is starting to look at lot more appetising and within a week it has become part of their daily routine.

Two weeks later we only have one wholemeal bread sandwich coming home in lunch boxes.

I am calling this a success!

Now I know that changing out the bread in our home is a very small issue and people would wonder - with so much opposition against you why bother?

Here is why I bother: I really believe it is these small changes with food (or any other family issue that you are passionate about) that will make a big difference to the health and benefit of my family in the future.

My kids, they can’t see that, so they put up a fight.
Me, I can see ahead, I can see the benefits, so I think the battle is worth it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Sunday Journals

The Sunday Journals are a new tradition I started this year.
Don’t you just love that you can start a new tradition at any time? I sure do.

Each child has a notebook/journal that I keep in a basket in our lounge room.
These journals are only for me to write in and every journal is different looking.
Of course!

The tradition is that every Sunday I sit down and write a memory/moment/experience/funny story about each of my children that happened during the week.

For example:

I have recorded how I asked Liberty,
“What is it like to be 5 years old?”

Liberty replied,
“It is like taking your training wheels off a bike.”

Love the way she thinks!

I also have recorded how Chelsea was asked to read out loud to the class a paragraph of a novel they were studying for the year. The paragraph she was asked to read contained swear words.

Chelsea began reading and when she reached the swear words she announced to the class that she would not say those words out loud.

Students in the class began to tease her and she still refused. Then her teacher encouraged her to say the words out loud. Still Chelsea refused to say them and simply continued on with the reading.

I love her desire to live her life according to her standards no matter what pressure others place on her. You go Chelsea!

Recording these little moments and snippets of my children’s lives are a gift from me to them.

My hope is that in the future it will be a journal that they treasure and can look back on with fondness as they relive their childhood in small moments.

It is the little things that make all the difference.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The awkward conversation I had with myself in public

A week ago I had a very awkward conversation with myself, public. It was both embarassing and enlightening at the same time. Here is a little background information.

Firstly, now that I have completed my baby steps plan number 1, I have moved onto working my way through baby steps plan number 2. This second plan involves me pushing myself physically a little more and it involves running.

If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I have had a long time love/hate battle with running. At times I have been successful at keeping up a running plan and at other times I have fallen in a heap at reaching my running goals.

Right now at this stage of my life where I am doing all I can to help myself live a life of vitality, I feel  that running is part of the answer to help me get back on my feet. After much thinking, research, reading and pondering and looking at all of the different techniques that have worked for me in the past, I kind of have 2 main choices right now: medication or running.

I have tried medication before. It simply doesn’t work for me. I know it works for many people and it sure has an important place to help many people while they are feeling depressed but for me it makes me worse. Much worse.

So I am left with running. That is my choice right now. To me it also feels like the most craziest, hardest, painful course to take. Which is why I constantly battle in my mind about this choice I have made.

All of this brings us to the awkward conversation. Here is how it played out:

I decided one morning to map out a 5km walk to take. I get myself ready, leave the house and start my walk. After about 2km I start to remember just how far 5km really is and realise that this is not going to be an easy task.

At the 3km mark something surprising starts to happen. My body starts to warm up and wants to run. I immediatly go into this panic mode and my mind begins going crazy telling me there is no way that I should be attempting to run in public!

My thoughts go like this:

You body wants to run...give it a go.
There is no way I am running in public. Are you crazy!
You body feels ready to give it a try..make it happen.
Are you for real? People will see you, you are so unfit, do not do it.

This goes on for a little while and then without realising it I stop on the side of the footpath and start talking to myself out loud...oh dear!

“Do it. Just give it a try. Start running”
“No. I can’t do it. People will see me. I will die of embarrassment.”
“Just try it. I won’t hurt to give it a try”
“No. Not going there. People will laugh. A car will crash or something”
“Naomi. These are just thoughts. If they are not helpful, don’t listen to them.”

I look around. I look up and down the road.

“True. These are just thoughts in my mind and there is no harm in giving running a go.”
“Just try it and see what happens.”

So I did. I gave it a try. I ran out in public and guess what? Nothing major happened. Nobody laughed at me, nobody yelled at me, no cars crashed.

I even ran three different times on the way home to finish off my 5km walk. When I got home I had a laugh about that awkward conversation I had outloud with myself and laughed even more when I thought of what my kids would say when I told them. Yes! Mum has really lost it!

So much of depression for me is about the battle I have with myself in my mind. It is absolutely exhausting. I am working on taking away that battle and finding I can reach my goals so much faster when I do.

Of course, for those of you who already think I am a little weird and quirky, after reading this blog post I am pretty sure it will seal the deal for you. know what...I am still trying to fight this and still trying to be better and right now that is all I ask of myself.